Hyunjung Ji and Nicole Darnall, “All are not Created Equal: Assessing Local Governments’ Strategic Approaches Towards Sustainability.” Journal Article

All are not Created Equal: Assessing Local Governments’ Strategic Approaches Towards Sustainability

Hyunjung Ji (University of Alabama) and Nicole Darnall (Arizona State University)

Public Management Review (Published March 2017)

Abstract

While local governments often implement equivalent numbers of sustainability programmes, they likely utilize different strategies to design them. We posit that some local governments pursue more of an exploration strategy, by experimenting with a broad range of sustainability issues and policy instruments to address them, while others pursue a more exploitation strategy, by focusing on a limited range of sustainability issues and policy instruments. We assess these distinctions across 70 local governments and offer evidence that governments indeed vary in their sustainability strategies. Such variations have important implications for local governments’ ability to improve their sustainability conditions over time.